Orphan Black: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” Review

orphan black season 2In this penultimate episode we hear from all our main clones! Alison, Sarah, Cosima, and Helena all check in as we hurtle towards what looks to be a devastating finale. So how are they all doing? Find out after the jump.

Trigger warning for loss of bodily autonomy and possible rape below.

First of all, oh my God, Alison and Donnie have become some insane suburban version of Natural Born Killers. After wrapping Dr. Leekie’s body in plastic, they toss it into their freezer (where their meat and frozen foods also appear to be kept, yuck) and, over Purell, discuss where to dispose of the body properly. The other clones still don’t know that Donnie killed Leekie, and Donnie’s suggestions are dumb as usual, so finally Alison jackhammers her way through the concrete of the Hendrixes’ garage and they dig a hole for the body to be put there. Then Vic the Dick stumbles upon them in their moment of crime. Donnie, who seems thrilled that he’s killed a man and probably gotten away with it, holds a gun to Vic’s head and threatens to kill him and Angie if they don’t leave his family alone. (He also lets slip about all the clones, because even a serial killer version of Donnie continues to be less than intelligent, but fortunately Vic thinks Donnie’s messing with him. Or does he?) With the body in the ground and a concrete layer on top of it, Alison and Donnie are so turned on that they start to have sex right there on top of the freezer. Guys.

Guys.

Guys.

Back in the Prolethean complex, Helena at first appears pleased that she’s going to have a child through in vitro fertilization, even though it readily becomes clear that she doesn’t understand much about her own reproductive systems. She and Gracie are put in a room together, where Helena finds out that Gracie, too, has been implanted with Helena’s embryos. Mark, who to his credit really does seem to love Gracie, tells Helena that the Prolethean women don’t think of themselves as brood mares, but Gracie turns her back to him. Mark didn’t know that she isn’t carrying the embryos out of her own free will. Helena tells Gracie not to carry her babies if she doesn’t want to. Then she orchestrates an escape plan, choking Henrik into unconsciousness while Mark and Gracie run. When Henrik wakes up, he’s strapped, legs apart, to the bed where Helena and Gracie were implanted with embryos. Helena is standing over him with a feral grin and a needle which she’s inexpertly filled with stuff she’s found in Henrik’s supplies. She shoves the needle somewhere we don’t see (Henrik’s underwear is on, although that wouldn’t be much of a deterrent), takes a container of liquid nitrogen, and sets the place on fire.

felix kira orphan blackMeanwhile, Rachel, Delphine, and Sarah are trying to come to some kind of accord in regards to Cosima. Cosima is still weak from last episode’s seizure, and fails at convincing the others she’s okay. Rachel appoints Delphine to Leekie’s old job so that she can negotiate with Sarah with the seeming weight of the DYAD institute behind her. Delphine tells Sarah that they need Kira’s bone marrow for Cosima to have a fighting chance, but Mrs. S. and Felix are against giving DYAD anything. Sarah lays all the information out for Kira, allowing her to make her own decisions, and all Kira needs to hear is that Auntie Cosima might die without her bone marrow. Mrs. S. takes them to a pediatrician she trusts, and the procedure seems to go off without a hitch. Delphine gets the bone marrow, but while she’s back in her office, she sees a “confidential” email from Rachel that says that Death from Supernatural—I mean, Benjamin—is working with DYAD. She rushes off to warn Sarah, and while Sarah’s out of Kira’s room, Rachel waltzes in, dressed as Sarah, stabs Felix in the neck with some sort of tranquilizer, and fucking steals Kira. Now Kira is going to be her daughter, not Sarah’s.

Holy crap.

Well, before Rachel ruined all of it by kidnapping Kira, we got some very interesting discussion of bodily autonomy with Helena, the Proletheans, and Kira. Apparently the Proletheans don’t have sex—perhaps they consider it a sin. Instead, all female-bodied people are implanted with embryos (that have all been fertilized by Henrik to boot, crazy cult leader that he is). Even though she may not understand how her body works, Helena at least knows this is unfair, and tells Gracie that she’s a good girl. Helena was able to recognize Gracie as a victim of religious brainwashing, same as herself, and saved her from her bondage instead of tearing her down. And in Kira’s case, neither her mother nor any of her parental figures got to make her choice for her. She got all the information that an eight-year-old kid could understand, and willingly chose to undergo an invasive procedure to possibly save her aunt’s life. That these women were still able to make their own choices about their own bodies under immense pressure is a pretty big deal that runs counter to many real-life situations that women often are forced into.

As for the clones themselves, Duncan keeps saying that he “needs to fix his mistakes” and that he doesn’t want to let DYAD continue with the “experiment”, and it just makes me wonder what the parameters of the experiment were in the first place. If they were making the clones for science, well, what was their hypothesis? Was it just “can we clone a human”, and if so, why were the clones spread across Europe and North America? I’d venture maybe some sort of nature v. nurture thing, because each clone has a “monitor” and that seems reminiscent of a long-term case study, but what exactly were they studying? At least we know that the cloning doesn’t appear to be for any nefarious purpose, like organ harvesting. Still, nineteen episodes is a long way to go with no clear motive for the clones’ existence.

Whether or not we find out in the finale, though, it looks to be every bit as insane as the Hannibal finale. In the trailer, we see the return of Cal, Cosima possibly dead, and Sarah surrendering to Rachel and DYAD (hopefully as part of a Sarah-style ploy). I wouldn’t be so worried if I didn’t think someone’s going to die. Not just die, but be murdered. We already have some uncomfortable parallels between Duncan and Dr. Moreau, and in this episode, Henrik tells the Proleathean children about a doctor pursued by his “creation” across the Earth because the doctor had never shown his creation any love. What is it foreshadowing? Guess we’ll find out next week.

1 thought on “Orphan Black: “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” Review

  1. I’d bet money the story Henrik was telling the Prolethean cult kiddos was Frankenstein.

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